TEA Connect Blog

22 October 2019

TEA Mixer all around EME, October 2019 - Owen Ralph reports

The Themed Entertainment Association (TEA) Europe & Middle East Division (TEA EME) organized a networking event across the region with mixers in Dubai, London, Annecy, Manchester and Utrecht, all starting at 7pm in their respective time zones, on October 15, 2019. More than 50 attended in total, across five cities and four countries.

Report provided by Owen Ralph

“Why don't we start a regular series of mixer events all around EME – multiple cities, all on the same night? And let's call it TEA Tuesday.” So came the call from TEA EME Division President Matt Barton during one of our monthly Board meetings. An idea was born. 

Following a trial #TEATuesday in July, the region-wide networking initiative was repeated on Tuesday, October 15. TEA members and prospective members came together this time in five different cities in four countries. But we all met at 7pm in our respective time zones.

Attendees in London networking at
Bermondsey Bar & Kitchen

First off the mark, over in Dubai (two hours ahead of central Europe and three hours in front of the UK), was the group of themed entertainment professionals that met at Nola Eatery and Social House. The first hour was Happy Hour, setting everyone up nicely for a pleasant evening of industry chat and catching up with colleagues.

Along with London, Paris proved to be the most popular TEA Tuesday location back in July. However, given the recent TEA Mixer at Musée Grévin during IAAPA Expo Europe in September, the French capital was not chosen on this occasion. Instead, there was a cozy gathering at L'Appart du 17 Réstaurant Bar in Annecy. This was hosted by Cynthia Vergon, who also organized an enjoyable members' meet up during the Rhône-Alps city's Fête du lac firework festival in August. 

London's Bermondsey Bar & Kitchen again provided the backdrop for TEA members in the UK capital. The weather might not have been as pleasant as in the summer, when guests made full use of the bar's al fresco facilities, but around 25 people had an enjoyable evening all the same. In addition, the event succeeded in attracting potential members not only from London but also Bristol, where a TEA NextGen group is being considered at Brunel University. Could Bristol itself be a future TEA Tuesday location? 

Up in the north of England, local TEA members including an animatronic designer, AV specialist and immersive experience producer met at PLY bar and pizza kitchen in Manchester's hip Northern Quarter. Conversation ranged from attendees' current work projects and potential collaborations to future TEA events and possible attraction visits.

One nation that wasn't represented during the last TEA Tuesday, but which has a strong base of both themed entertainment operators and suppliers, is The Netherlands. There, Margreet Papamichael teamed up with Ifat Caspi to host a mixer at the Belgisch Biercafé Olivier in Utrecht. The city's central location and good transport links served Margreet and Ifat well, with around 20 themed entertainment professionals turning up. It was also the only TEA gathering of the night to have a cat in attendance! 

At the time of writing, the details had yet to be confirmed for the next TEA Tuesday, but future dates and cities will be announced on the TEA Events page. It will be great to see this informal but important networking opportunity develop and help to grow membership within the TEA EME Division. 

View more photos here.

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Posted by Christy Nakada

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